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Analysis

No More Coalitions: US Allies Decline US-Proposed Sea Alliance

Thursday 25 July 2019
No More Coalitions: US Allies Decline US-Proposed Sea Alliance

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Coalition for Piracy? US Proposes Patrolling Alliance

Alwaght- The US hostile approach to Iran under the presidency of Donald Trump, many agree, has reached its peak. One consequence, among others, is the obstruction of the fluency of sea transportation in the highly sensitive and strategic Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz.

To materialize its main goal of forcing the Iranian oil sales to zero the US over the past few months built up its military presence in the region, beside the massive efforts to get other countries to its anti-Iranian unilateral and illegitimate economic sanctions Tehran calls “economic terrorism.” 

Since the attacks on the Saudi and Emirati oil tankers in the Sea of Oman and a UAE port in early June, Washington has struggled to set up a military coalition for the so-called aim of protecting the commercial ships. The US attempts have so far proved a failure and except for Saudi Arabia and the UAE no country has seriously shown support for the US-proposed alliance. Riyadh and Abu Dhabi are known for their being bankrollers of the American regional scenarios.

Global distrust in chaos-causing Trump

The security of the Persian Gulf is greatly important in the global trade and economy, as many of the world’s economic powers are provided with their energy from this region’s states. So, a caution to avoid the escalation of tensions in the region is the main driving force behind the countries’ rejection of joining the US-proposed coalition. After all, the US is now accused by many world countries of destabilizing the global peace and security through a trade war and stepped up militarism across the world. While the world recognizes the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and violation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions, marked by unilateral sanctions especially on Iran’s oil sales, a violator of the international law, Iran’s firm reactions to the US moves in the Persian Gulf, like violation of its sea and airspace, are deemed quite a legitimate practice to defend its interests. Besides, it should be taken into account that the US sanctions pose direct challenges to important US economic rivals like China, India, South Korea, and Japan. These factors beside Iran’s show of capability to respond to hostilities have raised the risks of joining the alliance for the American allies.

Retreatment domino 

India was one of the countries that have rejected to join the US-led sea patrolling alliance. The Reuters news agency, citing an Indian official, reported that New Delhi will not be part of such alliance because such measures will lead to confrontation with Iran. New Delhi holds historical trade and cultural ties with Tehran, the Indian official went on, adding that traditionally India has never joined such military alliances because it prefers to act within the UN framework.

The CNN on Friday wrote that many potential allies of the US have shown no support to a new sea alliance in the face of Iran. The American broadcaster also reported that “a Spanish frigate, the ESPS Méndez Núñez, recently left the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, which is currently based in the Gulf of Oman and focuses on Iran. Spain does not support the US withdrawal from the anti-nuclear deal agreed with Iran in 2015.”

Even a British warship that was deployed to the region has not shown signs it intends to join the alliance, although London is seen as a second actor in the American circle. Reuters, citing two Persian Gulf sources and a British security source, has reported that having in mind that participation in the alliance will increase the risks of clashes with Iran, joining the bloc will very likely be limited to providing sea personnel and facilities to ships already existing in the region. 

As part of the withdrawal of support to the US proposal, Reuters reported that a French official told it that Paris has no plan to escort the commercial ships in the waters near Iran. He said that Paris finds the US suggestion for patrolling force “unconstructive” because it not only does not prevent tensions escalation but also is an anti-Iranian measure in Tehran eyes.

Responding to a question by Reuters that if Seoul would join the American alliance, a South Korean official said that Washington has not yet been presented with an official request. 

Norway, a country whose commercial ship saw damage in Fujairah Port attack, remains undecided about joining the alliance although Washington tried hard to persuade it to file a complaint against Iran without any document of Iranian hands in the attack. Norwegian Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen and Foreign Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide in a joint statement said that Norway has received the US call for help to boost the security of shipping in the Strait of Hormuz. They continued that the Norwegian approach to the initiative is affirmative but the government needs information for assessment before any contribution.

Japan, another actor whose ships underwent an attack in the Persian Gulf said, according to the Wall Street Journal, has yet to respond to the American request.

The emergence of signs of failure to build an anti-Iranian coalition, according to some analysts, has led the White House to brazenly lie about the goals of the bloc. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Defense Catherine Wilbarger commented on the recent “concerns and misunderstandings” in remarks to Reuters said that the coalition would be created not for a military confrontation with Iran, but for ensuring the safety of transport shipping, primarily by strengthening intelligence and surveillance in the region of Persian Gulf. The US allies should patrol in the region and escort the commercial ships, she continued.  

This failure has motivated Washington’s attempts to hold an international conference to persuade its allies to join the force. A State Department official has announced that as a sequel to the Warsaw conference, held in February, Bahrain in this year’s fall will host a meeting on shipping and aviation security.

Certainly, this setback indicates that the age of countries’ zeal for advocacy to the US policies has gone and now many global nations look negatively to joining the US-led coalitions and Washington’s West Asia policies.

 

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US Persuian Gulf Allaince Iran

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